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J Clin Microbiol. Feb 1995; 33(2): 356–363.
PMCID: PMC227948

M or M-like protein gene polymorphisms in human group G streptococci.


Many group G streptococci (GGS) isolated from infected humans (but not from animal sources) express M or M-like proteins with biological, immunochemical, and genetic features similar to those of group A streptococci (GAS). To further elucidate the recently proposed M-like protein gene (emmL gene) polymorphisms in GGS, Southern blots of genomic DNAs from 38 epidemiologically unrelated GGS strains isolated from human specimens and 12 GGS strains recovered from animal sources were hybridized with oligonucleotide probes designed to specifically detect GAS M class I and M class II M protein (emm) genes. All human-associated GGS strains showed DNA homology to the GAS M class I emm gene probe, whereas no hybridization was found with DNA from any of the animal-associated strains. The emmL genes from all human isolates were amplified by PCR, and the complete sequence of the emmL gene of the Rebecca Lancefield grouping strain D166B was determined. Again, this gene exhibited the structural features typical for emm genes of M class I GAS. The 5' regions of the PCR-amplified emmL genes of the remaining 37 human GGS strains were sequenced. This region showed a sequence diversity similar to that known for GAS emm genes. When strains whose N-terminal emmL gene sequences showed a homology of > 95% were defined as belonging to one genetic type, 30 strains were segregated into six distinct genetic types, whereas the remaining 8 strains each exhibited a unique emmL gene sequence.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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